May 9, 2013 3:26 PM by MELISSA CANONE
LAFAYETTE, La. - With over 400,000 estimated visitors throughout the five day event, Festival International de Louisiane completes another successful year. Memorable musical performances, towering stilt walkers, a variety of delicious local and internationally-inspired cuisine, fine art selections and contemporary crafts filled the streets of Downtown Lafayette once again.
Festival is now 27 years old and one of the primary missions is to increase the economic development of Downtown Lafayette as well as the rest of Acadiana. Festival International relies on the financial and physical support of the community and in return, helps to create more than $30,000,000 in economic impact in a 5-day span. To be able to do this, there are many factors that must be aligned - corporate and private financial contributions, government resources, in-kind support and the most important resource of all - people.
The more than 2,000 dedicated Volunteers that sacrifice their personal time is a testament to the deep connection that Festival has to our community. It's in this spirit that Festival was founded and continues to honor Acadiana's cultural connection to the Francophone world.
Festival is fortunate to have been born in the heart of Lafayette and is proud of the contribution made to the continual development and evolution of the Downtown Lafayette community as well as the Acadiana region at large for the last 27 years.
Festival Executive Director, Dana Baker says, ‘For a city the size of Lafayette to host an event like Festival International in the center of the city cannot happen in just Anytown, USA. Without the gracious support of the people in Lafayette and Acadiana, the Downtown businesses, partners, Volunteers and Festival fans everywhere, Festival International could not exist. And, for this loyal support, we are grateful.'
Festival International Board and staff are excited about the future, where Festival will continue to be an integral part of Downtown Lafayette for many years to come - as Downtown evolves so too will Festival International.
Downtown Development Authority CEO, Nathan Norris says, ‘Downtown Lafayette is and always will be as much a part of Festival International de Louisiane as Festival is of Downtown Lafayette.'
Baker continues, ‘We are committed to Downtown and its future and look forward to the opportunity to assist in shaping that future. Part of what makes Festival so unique is its location and the personality of Downtown Lafayette - truly unlike any place else on earth.'